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A Christmas Resolution
Christmas Novellas – Book XVIII
BY Anne Perry

18 October 2020/ ISBN 9781472275097

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Celia, new wife of Detective John Hooper of the Thames River Police is concerned when her close friend Clementine announces she is going to marry Seth Marlowe. Seth is a man with a dark past, a man whose first wife died in mysterious circumstances and whose daughter ran away from home. He also knows Celia’s own secret that could ruin her reputation and lose her husband his job if it was widely known. It is going to be up to the Hoopers to discover as much about Seth as possible.

I have a tradition of reading each new book just before Christmas. I’ve been doing this since the first one came out back in 2002 and always enjoy them. It is a great idea to have a series like this running concurrently with her other series as each novella gives a minor character the chance to take center stage and have a story of their own. This time it is the turn of the Hoopers who were introduced in a Monk novel I haven’t read yet. I would strongly advise anybody planning on reading this (or any other in this series) to be up to date with the relevant series because there are plot spoilers in here, plus various things that would make more sense if you had read the novel being alluded to. That aside this is another triumph for the prolific Ms Perry that takes a seasonal look at the nature of compassion, forgiveness and redemption. Is Seth as black as he is painted or is something else going on? What really happened to his wife and child, and will Clementine’s bright, joyful spirit redeem a lonely, bitter widower? I found it takes a bit of time to get into its stride but once John Hooper and his team hit the streets (or rather the river) it takes off. I would have preferred more of this but this is a short tale under 200 pages and just the thing to curl up with in front of a fire with the curtains drawn on a winter night. As with all this author’s work it comes recommended.

Reviewed 2021